Buying Guides: 13 Best Baby Gates

Once your little one starts becoming more mobile, it’s time to baby-proof your home. While there are several safety measures that should be taken, a safety gate can help to keep curious toddlers from wandering off to rooms or areas that are off limits, especially stairs. There are several different types of baby gates which we’ll go over in this buying guide to fit your needs.

Consider the area that you’re wanting to block off. Certain rooms and areas will require certain types of gates. For instance, you can’t use just any type of gate on top of a stairwell. Likewise, you’ll need a specific gate for large entryways that can expand to fit the space. We’ll take a look at each of these different types according to your needs.

Hardware vs. Pressure-Mounted Gates
There are basically two different styles of gates. These have to do with the way they will be installed. They are hardware mounted and pressure-mounted.

Pressure-mounted gates are your common basic types. They use the force of pressure with a bar that helps to wedge the gate into place. These type gates are generally a little cheaper than the latter type. Most of these feature a position and lock mechanism for opening and securing the gate into place while others can be opened to walk-thru. The areas most suitable for these types of gates are:

  • Doorways between rooms and/or hallways that are level
  • The bottom of stairways

Hardware mounted gates are not the most desirable because they require screwing into the walls or door frames, although they are the safest option as they’re sturdier. Some of the most common types of hardware-mounted gates are those that you can walk-through. They are most suitable for areas such as:

  • Between any doorway or entryway
  • The top of the stairs

Now let’s take a look at which gates are best suited for certain designated areas according to consumer reports.

Best Baby Gates For Doorways

These are some of the best and most functional baby safety gates to use for doorways between two rooms or hallways. These are your most common gates found around the home.

SuperGate Easy Close Metal Gate

Supergate

4.7 out of 5 stars

A North States product, this Supergate is perfect for use in doorways and at the bottom of stairways. The pressure-mounted gate requires no assembly to set up. It easily opens with a simple mechanism and features a double locking system to ensure safety. The gate fits most standard-sized doorways 28″ to 31.5″ with two extensions to provide a sure fit. It’s constructed very durably of strong metal. See the reviews

DreamBaby Extra Tall Swing Close Gate

Dreambaby

4.6 out of 5 stars

This pressure-mounted safety gate is great for standard doorways with two extensions that expand it up to 42″.  The extra tall gate stands at 39″ which is also great for keeping pets out of baby’s room. It opens easily by pushing a button on the top and nudging the gate open. It can swing in both directions and will close automatically when the door is released for optimal safety. It comes with hardware mounting cups if you choose to mount it to the wall. Installation is also really easy. See the reviews

 

The First Years Hands Free Gate

The first years

4.4 out of 5 stars

The pressure-mounted safety gate features a convenient hands-free operation with the use of a foot pedal that is designed for parents to easily open and close the gate, but not children. This walk-through gate opens in both directions and closes with just a push with a latch sound to ensure that it is closed. It is made to fit standard doorways 29″ to 34″ wide. It is not ideal to use in doorways where you’ll want to close the door because of the foot pedal. See the reviews

North States SuperGate Clear Choice Gate

North states

4.4 out of 5 stars

This pressure-mounted gate is simple to install and use between doorways of 26″ to 42″ wide. It is made of durable quality that is strong with a clear design that leaves no footholds or wiring that children can try to climb over. The gate comes up to 32″ high so it is possible step over if you have to or prefer not to remove it completely. See the reviews

 

Safety 1st Nature Next Bamboo Gate

Safety first

4.2 out of 5 stars

Here is a pressure-mounted gate that is made of strong bamboo for good durable quality. This gate offers sustainability with panels constructed with recycled plastic. It opens and closes using a position and lock mechanism. Installation is really easy and can be moved around multiple locations. It fits doorways from 28″ to 42″ without the need for extensions and stands 24″ tall so it’s easy for adults to step over. See reviews

 Best Gates for Large Entryways

If you have a large opening or entryway such as to your living area, these are some of the best gates made that extend to fit extra wide openings.

GMI Keepsafe Expansion Gate

GMI

4.5 out of 5 stars

A hardware-mounted gate, this safety gate can expand to fit entryways up to 84″ wide and stands up to 33″ tall. It has a safe design that poses no risk of pinching or choking hazard from chipped or broken components. Installation is pretty simple with just a screwdriver required. A center-mounted leg provides added support for stability. See the reviews

 

Supergate Deluxe Decor Metal Gate

supergate

4.4 out of 5 stars

This is a really nice walk-through gate for large openings with a stylish appeal in espresso. The wall-mounted gate expands to fit entryways 38.3″ to 71″ wide and stands 30″ tall. It features a walk-through door that is extra wide and locks to keep little ones from getting through. A nice feature is that the entire gate can swing open if you need without having to unmount it. It also features points that allow it to pivot so you can fit in on angled areas. See the reviews

Summer Infant Sure and Secure Custom Fit Gate

Summer Infant

3.9 out of 5 stars

This is a safety gate that can be used to block off a variety of areas. The hardware-mounted gate extends to fit entryways up to 12-feet wide! It can be used to section off rooms or areas of the house where traditional gates don’t work or even create baby play fence. The gate features a door to walk through that locks to keep little ones out and from having to walk over every time. See the reviews

Regalo Easy Open Super Wide Walk-Thru Gate

3.6 out of 5 stars

Built with durable steel, this walk through gate by Regalo can fit normal doorways and expands up to 52″ for extra wide openings and is 31″ tall. It comes with the main gate that fits standard doorways from 29″- 32″ and includes two extension kits, a 6-inch and a 12-inch extension that you can adjust to fit various-sized entryways. The pressure-mounted walk-through gate features a lever-style handle that is easy to access for opening and closing with just one hand. Read the reviews

Best Baby Gates For Stairs

These gates are the best and safest options for stairways. The only type of safety gate that should be used on top of stairways is one that is hardware mounted. If you’re not wanting to put holes into the walls and banisters of your stairs there are optional mounting kits which you can purchase to avoid damage.

Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Gate

Cardinal gates

4.5 out of 5 stars

Cardinal Gates specializes in gates designed for placement at the top of stairs. It adjusts to fit spaces that are 27″ to 42.5″ wide and can be used for any area of the house. It features an easy one-handed operation for opening and closing with a double-lock feature at the bottom to provide optimal safety. It is made of lightweight aluminum rather than steel so carrying it up the stairs to install it isn’t a hassle. See the reviews

KidCo Safeyway Safety Gate

Kidco

4.4 out of 5 stars

The Safeway Gate is a heavy-duty gate that is made to swing open on the hinge when mounted. It uses a latch-lock system that is simple enough for adults but challenging for children to figure out with a stop that allows it to open one direction as a safety feature. It is specifically designed so that there is no bar at the bottom to pose a tripping risk. It comes in a white or black non-toxic finish. See reviews

 

The First Years Everywhere Gate

The first years

4.3 out of 5 stars

This gate is designed for use in any doorway or entryway. It features clear panels that you can see through without posing the risk for children to climb over it. It features a one-hand action that allows you to slide the gate open and closed for easy access walking through it while carrying something or someone in your arms. The gate can be pressure or hardware mounted depending on your preference. When used with the mounting hardware, the gate can be swung open so you don’t have to remove it each time which is ideal for top of stairways. See the reviews

Evenflo Top of Stair Plus Gate

Evenflo gate

4.3 out of 5 stars

If you like the look of the classic wood-style gates like the traditional pressure-mounted versions, then here is one for you designed to mount at the top of stairs. It includes the hardware mounts for easy installation and features a swinging action to open and close the gate. This control option can also be removed as a safety aspect for keeping it from opening out over the stairs. It fits through stair entryways from 30″ to 48″ wide. See the reviews

 

No matter what your needs, if you’re looking into safety gates to make your home safer for your children, any of these would be great options. Most of these were recommended by consumer reports as durable, great quality gates that meet the safety standards required by law. Just always be sure to check your gate periodically to ensure that it is secure and check out some of our other baby-proofing guidelines. 

Comments

  1. Hi Carol.
    This is great! Your buying guides is very helpful for me and I am glad that you mention Cardinal and Kidco Gates to instal at the top of the stairs as they are hardware-mounted baby gate.

    But I just want to give you a heads up that the “The First Years Everywhere Gate” is discontinued by manufacturer, so it would be great if you update the list.

    Either way, keep up the awesome work!

    Cheers,
    Melanie

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